We all get tired of the monotonous exercise routines. One of the drawbacks of consistent exercise is boredom. Summer weather offers an opportunity to get yourself out of the gym and off the treadmill. Now’s the time to mix it up a bit. Fall will be here again in just a few months, so why not take advantage of some great workout options while weather permits. Not only can you cure boredom, but also you’ll get your needed dose of Vitamin D by participating in outdoor activities.
Take your Yoga practice outdoors. You’ll find new challenges with balance when you do Yoga in the sand, or on the grass. Balancing postures become a bit more challenging when you look up to the movement of the sky. The next time you do your routine indoors, you’ll notice the improvement.
Canoeing is great exercise for the back, abdominal obliques, and for core strengthening. You’ll get a legwork out from using your quads to stabilize the canoe. Alternate strokes, and be aware of balance. It’s important to have good balance - otherwise, choose another activity. You can rent a canoe at any number of lakeside recreational facilities.
Swimming is an obvious summer exercise activity. If you love boating, make sure you stop and swim. It’s great for your cardiovascular system. Do some gentle stretching while you’re in the water to loosen up those sore muscles. If you’re not a swimmer, buy one of those noodles to hold you up, and just kick your legs. Try power walking in the pool. Gallon milk cartons, filled with water are great for toning your arms in the pool.
Toss around some beanbags in the water. Jump around at the same time. You’ll give your lower body a workout that’s stress free to the joints, and you’ll work your arms and shoulders. You don’t have to exercise for thirty minutes straight. Get up and do it ten minutes at a time. We all like going in and out of the water anyway. You’re sure to burn calories.
Try mountain biking on a safe trail. Even those who are not enthusiasts will get a whole body workout by biking through a moderately intense trail.
Take an early morning, or late afternoon walk in the sand, you’ll give your feet and legs a chance to experience more resistance than on the treadmill, or asphalt. You’ll gain added ankle stability, decreasing your chances of sprains and strains. You can alternate your walk with jogging and running. Of course, you’ll want to go barefoot in the soft sand, but be careful of injuries, and know the terrain before you jog or run. Pushups, lunges and stretching are great in the sand too. The sound of the water is relaxing and invigorating at the same time.
Buy a hula-hoop. They’re on sale everywhere. Make it a competition with your friends. I picked mine out this week – it glitters and shimmers, and it’s weighted. You’ll get your heart rate up for sure. Remember to alternate the direction you spin the hoop. If you get really good at it, you can drop it from your waist to your hips and even to your knees, giving yourself more complete workout. The weighted hoops are much easier to control. Try out a few before you purchase. You’ll be surprised how many people might join you right in the store. If you have a history of back pain, you should avoid hula hooping. Hold it against your back then give it a good spin. The momentum comes from shifting your weight from one foot to the other, so make sure your feet are slightly apart, with one foot in front of the other. It’s fun, burns calories, and is great for overall fitness.
Power walk up your favorite mountain. Do it in intervals. Stay hydrated, and rest frequently. Coming down the mountain exercises entirely different muscles.
No matter what you’re doing this summer, don’t forget to have fun. Take your work out with you whether it’s on vacation, or “chilling” at the pool. Just getting outdoors can give you a new sense of vitality. Remember to laugh often, and keep moving.
Kathleen is a Registered Nurse. Visit her blog for more health news and information.